Free School Meals

New Applications


Parents/Carers should apply for free school meals via:


or telephone the Customer Service Centre  at 0300 123 4048 during office hours

Currently 50% of applications for free school meals are made online. The launch of the new service means that even more families will be able to apply quickly and easily for the benefits they are entitled to and that will make a real difference to their lives, and to the attainment of their children in school.

Since the introduction of the Eligibility Checking Service (ECS) (previously called the Hub), most applicants do not need to provide paper proof of benefit. As soon as their application is submitted, HCC will check using the ECS whether the parent/carer qualifies for free school meals and advise them of the outcome immediately.

The ECS can only be used to check for free school meal eligibility, so parents/carers who are applying for other educational benefits available in Hertfordshire (namely remission of music fees, SaverCard, TrainCard and cycle training fees) will still be required to provide paper proof of benefit (unless they are applying for free school meals at the same time).

Please note: Free School Meals will not be provided to students until eligibility has been confirmed.


During the summer HCC automatically renews applications in readiness for the new academic year. This means parents will not receive a renewal letter and do not need to re-apply. HCC will only write to those families where routine checks show them to be no longer entitled to support. If parents/carers believe that they still meet the eligibility criteria, they can make a new application against which HCC will carry out further checks.

Applicants who remain eligible will not receive a letter and can assume their child will continue to receive free school meals.